Sunday, May 15, 2011

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: Of Rock Stars and Romance

My newest novel, DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE, hits the stores in just over two weeks, and today I thought I'd give you a little background on just how this story came to be. (Let me warn you, you're going to think I made it up, because the truth is definitely stranger than fiction!)

Back in 2007, the first book in my Nicki Styx series, DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY was released. The basic premise of that story was this: a so-called "goth girl" has a near-death experience, and comes back from the other side with the ability to see and hear the dead. (It was a bit of a take on the "be careful what you wish for" idea, in that someone who was drawn to the dark side ended up with lot more darkness in her life than she ever expected.)

Fast forward two years and two books later, when I was helping my husband set up a website for his business (I used to be a computer techie before I was a writer). I was coordinating things with the web designer, and just happened to include my official "author signature" in one of my emails, which showed my own website address. He clicked on it, visited my website and said, "Hey, I didn't know you liked that dark stuff, but since you do, here's a link to a cool band I think you'll really like." Hence, I was introduced to the goth n' roll artistry of gold-record selling Finnish band, The 69 Eyes, also known as the Helsinki Vampires. Do yourself a favor, and check out their video for a song called "Perfect Skin" for a taste of their particular brand of dark deliciousness:

Anyway, I was hooked, and casually ended up "friending" the band on MySpace.

To my surprise, I got a personal response to that friend request, from none other than lead singer, Jyrki Linnankivi, also known as Jyrki69. He told me that the band was working on a new album, and that one of the songs had been inspired by one of my books! I'll be quite honest with you - my initial response was a bit skeptical, both that a hot lead singer of a rock n' roll band would email me personally, or that he'd ever even heard of my books. :) But, in true "stranger than fiction" fashion, Jyrki kept in touch, although he kept secret which book he was referring to (Helsinki vampires are nothing if not mysterious). Then, in the summer of 2009, their new album was released, featuring a lead single entitled "Dead Girls Are Easy", the video of which debuted on, of all things, . I'll warn you, it's a bit racier than the book , but you can watch the video and hear the song here:

Later that year, a dream came true when I got to meet the band in person when they toured in the US. Here's a pic of Jyrki and me, after each member of the band signed a copy of my book (do I look happy or what? ) Story and more pics here.

Anyway, I decided to return the artistic favor. The band's medium is music, but mine is writing. I'd been toying with the idea for a new series featuring a diabolically handsome character of Sammy Divine, who'd was a recurring character from appeared in my first (Nicki Styx) series. Sammy's the Devil, you see, and there's a long-time legend about extremely talented musicians who GOT that talent by making a deal with the Devil. Enter the character of Finn Payne, the rock n' roll bad boy who sold his soul for rock n' roll, and now wants it back. Throw in a young single mother with a very sick child who makes her own deal with the Devil, and you've got DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE, which releases May 31st, 2011.

Art inspires art, hot guys inspire more hot guys, and so on, and so on. :) C'mon now... who could make up a story like that??

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